The Fourth Type of Reader

The fourth type of reader is a subset of the third type. These are the people who themselves believe that they caused their own hardship. Their accuser is themselves.

These folks are actually in good company. In the first half of the speeches in the book of Job, Job himself believes he must have done something to deserve his fate. Several times, he agrees with his friends.

But, Job was just as wrong as his friends were. We, the reader of Job, know that it was exactly the opposite: Job was chosen because he was “blameless and upright”. The situation was certainly not punishment.

It is comforting to know that if I ask “Why me?”, and don’t receive an answer from God, that means whatever befell me wasn’t punishment.

Considering how rarely God punishes people for their sins while they are alive, it can safely be said that, no, it’s not my situation either.

So, ask God if I deserved whatever hardship I am passing through, and wait for an answer. If there is none, then, it wasn’t punishment. It wasn’t lack of faith. It was just an outgrowth of the human condition: sin permeates our lives. Thus, the world is not a nice place to live, and we will see hardship. I shouldn’t beat myself up over such things.